Thursday, March 26, 2015

Apple Chips For iPads And Intel Chips For Macs: Now, Fight!

Here is an interesting post (Two Guys And A Podcast) concluding that Intel's days are numbered as far as Apple using Intel mobile chips are concerned as Apple continue to push forward with speed on the A-series chips used in iOS devices while Intel seems to be standing still or moving forward at a much slower pace. The post concludes that Apple's how chips should over take Intel's like the Core M chip being deployed in the new Macbook. And when that day cames, Apple will replace Intel chips with its own in Macs.

That is the rational and conventional thinking.  However, I have a different take.  We have all heard the rumors regarding the new iPad Pro that Apple is working on.  It was supposed to unveiled by now.  Obviously, it has not and there are plenty of rumors explaining why that is the case.  My take is that perhaps, Apple is waiting on a new generation of chips that should be unveiled later this year can serve as the heart of the new iPad Pro, much faster than the current A9 in the iPad Air 2 and iPhone 6, that could more effectively compete with the Intel Core M. 

When the iPad Pro comes out, it will make for some interesting choices for consumers.  Apple will let the iPad Pro and Macbook fight it out in the market place.  If you want a laptop, go with the Macbook.  If you want a tablet with multi-touch that may also have the new Force Touch technology, more horse power than the Macbook (though most consumers will not be able to see the difference), and even longer battery life than the Macbook's 9 hours, then the iPad Pro is your choice, not to mention an accessory case that doubles as a keyboard.  Of course, Apple marketing will not pit one device as superior over the other. 

And for the next few generations of Macbooks and iPad Pros, Apple and Intel will leapfrog each other with claims of higher horsepower and greater efficiency.  And even if Apple does fall behind with the iPad Pro and Intel pulls ahead with its chips, Apple can still win in the end because people will have picked the Macbook over the iPad Pro. 

However, from what I'm reading regarding just what Apple's own chips can do versus what Intel's Core M can speed up to for some tasks, this is one area where Intel might have the advantage.  The Core M can go up to 2.6 Ghz if called upon.  No word on how Apple's chips do in this regard.  Having said that, on the low-end, that might not matter in day-to-day mobile computing tasks.  And this is an area where Apple can excel because of the tighter hardware-software integration on the iPad than on the Macbook since Apple did not design the Core M.  This is an area that matters most to people who have decide between a Macbook or and iPad Pro.

For any heavy lifting required, Apple Mac users will go with an iMac, Macbook Pro, or even a Mac Pro. 

Personally, I welcome the Macbook as it is now.  I'm not saying that this is for me. First, I'll have to wait and see what the iPad Pro is like and then there is the fact that I still have a relatiely new (18-month) Macbook Pro that performs beautifully.  My only gripe is my MBP has only 7-hour long battery life.  While it has done and performed as expected, I would not mind an extra couple of hours of battery life. 

The Macbook isn't for everyone.  It isn't for pro's.  Nor is the iPad for everyone either.  I do believe Apple has a multi-year roadmap that is clear and executable under Tim Cook.  We saw the future with the Macbook Air and it'll take a couple more years for us to get to wherever Apple wants to take us in terms of the next stage of mobile computing. It was a great time to be alive when the iPhone came out in 2007 and revolutionize mobile.  It'll be just as exciting in the next few.

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